Grace Lin goes beyond the tennis court

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Senior Grace Lin volleys during practice in the Lewis Tennis Center in what is her final season playing at Lehigh. Lin is the only senior on the Women’s Tennis Team. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Grace Lin has embraced her role as the lone senior on the women’s tennis team and has turned into a leader and role model for the rest of the roster.

At the beginning of this season, Lin knew her position as the only senior was going to be something different from what she had previously experienced. A four-year member, Lin always had more than one senior to look up to. This year would be a little different. 

“It’s been a different transition going in from the previous years,” Lin said. “I think there is a lot more leadership and the bittersweet feeling of knowing I only have one more year left.”

Coach Sarah Hendrix said Lin has taken on the challenging role of being the only senior and has embraced it by stepping up both on and off the court.

“(Lin) is a very compassionate and empathetic person, and these qualities have translated directly to her ability to be a very strong leader of our team this year,” Hendrix said.

Lin capitalizes on this opportunity by leading her teammates in any way she can. She said she has been able to draw on the lessons her former teammates have taught her as well as her own experiences during the past three years.

Lin said the most important lesson she learned from former teammates is to simply be yourself and to be there for your teammates. 

“If you just be yourself and work hard and be there for each other, the team environment and everything will work out on its own,” Lin said. 

Freshman Elizabeth Nowak is one of the younger players that has benefited from Lin’s experience and looks to her for guidance during her first season on the team. 

“Grace (Lin) is someone you can always rely on to be level headed and passionate,” Nowak said. “It has really been helpful to me as a freshman making the adjustment, she has always been someone I can rely on to help me more than anything.”

Lin said she always looks to be a supportive teammate and someone her teammates can go to for advice on classes, personal issues and strategy on the court. 

She said when teammates come to her for advice she gives her thoughts from her own personal experiences but reminds them to always be themselves, both on and off the court. 

“I tend to just be myself no matter what, whenever they come to me with questions I answer with my perspective but always make sure they know that everyone is different and has their own way of doing things,” Lin said. “Obviously, I go to them for stuff too, so it goes both ways.”

Heading into the end of the season, Lin’s experience and leadership will be an integral part of the team and its success. She said big matches at the end of the season are have some of her favorite memories of her time at Lehigh.  

“We are going in with the confidence of this win and knowing that we have the players and talent that’s necessary to really get as far as we possibly can and hopefully win the tournament,” Lin said.

The Mountain Hawks will play Bucknell on Tuesday, April 16 at the Lewis Indoor Tennis Center.

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